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Scott wrote:What makes an argument complete and rationally persuasive?
Scott wrote:If you haven't already, please read my new article: The Four Main Elements of a Complete Logical Argument
In the article I explain that I believe the four main elements that a good, complete logical argument has are premises, sources, inferences and conclusions. ..
Scott wrote:If you notice others attempting to make a rational argument that's missing any of the four elements, you may want to give them a link to the article as you mention to them that their argument is missing an essential part.
Nihilcertum wrote:First, it is important to consider the relationship between one's premises and conclusions because it is easy to logically restate one's premises as a disguised 'new' conclusion. In this case, nothing has been proved and the argument, while it may be convincing, is not a complete logical argument.
Nihilcertum wrote:Second, regarding sources, one should not cross the line between evidence and the fallacy of appealing to authority.
Belinda wrote:Don't you think that appeals to authority may be admissible when the authority is intended to show that a fact is a fact? ...
A good, convincing argument will have sources for the premises. The argument is not sound if any of the premises are false. So the argument won't be convincing to a reader if the reader doubts any of the premises. Even if you think something is common knowledge or obviously true, another person may not be completely sure it is true. Besides, many things that are commonly believed to be true are not. Sources may be exempted for premises that are self-evident when a good source cannot be provided for that reason. But if a source can be found even for something well-known, allegedly self-evident or true by definition, then use a source. For instance, even something as blatantly true by definition as the proposition, "Dogs are mammals," or "If you are overweight, then you weigh more than is considered healthy," can be easily be sourced by checking an encyclopedia or dictionary. By using sources when possible even for a proposition that you think is self-evident or obvious, you avoid the risk of failing to use a source when needed because you falsely considered something self-evident that is not or that readers won't consider self-evident.
Santini wrote:Nicely done. I really liked this sentence: "Sources may be exempted from premises that are self-evident and if a good source cannot be provided for that reason."
You're correct, it's always better to include a source if one is available even for claims that most of us take to be self-evident.
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